UK and US hold anti-terror talks


Theresa May is due to meet and the US Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano for anti-terror talks

Anti-terror talks between the United States and the UK are due to be held.

Plans to strengthen cyber, cargo and aviation security against terrorism and natural disasters will be discussed in the private talks between Home Secretary Theresa May, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond and the US Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, US officials confirmed.

It comes after Scotland Yard said a bomb found on a cargo plane at East Midlands Airport in October was timed to detonate over the eastern seaboard of the US.

Matt Chandler, a spokesman for the US Department of Homeland Security, said the talks would focus on “collaborative efforts to strengthen cyber, cargo and aviation security”.

The discussions will also cover efforts to “ensure the security and resilience of the global supply chain against terrorism, transnational crime and natural disasters while facilitating the flow of travel and commerce”, he said.

The Home Office said it did not comment on private talks.

Last year, Scotland Yard said the bomb, disguised as an ink cartridge, was found on a UPS aircraft by Leicestershire police officers shortly after 3.30am on October 29 last year and was timed to go off some seven hours later over the eastern seaboard of the US. It was one of two bombs thought to have been made and dispatched by al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

As part of new security measures brought in following the foiled attacks, countries sending air freight to the UK are being “graded” according to risk and rules which allowed some freight not to be rescreened if it was merely passing through the UK were amended.

The FBI and Homeland Security Department in the US warned local officials across the country that packages from abroad with no return address and excessive postage required a second examination.

In the UK, the Government’s national security strategy also highlighted attacks on computer networks as one of the country’s biggest emerging threats.

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